The question of whether or not a closed border entry policy under the unilateral control of a democratic state is legitimate cannot be settled until we first know to whom the justification of a regime of control is owed. According to the state sovereignty view, the control of entry policy, including of movement, immigration, and naturalization, ought to be under the unilateral discretion of the state itself: justification for entry policy is owed solely to members. This position, however, is (...) inconsistent with the democratictheory of popular sovereignty. Anyone accepting the democratictheory of political legitimation domestically is thereby committed to rejecting the unilateral domestic right to control state boundaries. Because the demos of democratictheory is in principle unbounded, the regime of boundary control must be democratically justified to foreigners as well as to citizens, in political institutions in which both foreigners and citizens can participate. (shrink)
Revisioning macro-democratic processes in light of the processes and promise of micro-deliberation, Innovating Democracy provides an integrated perspective on democratictheory and practice after the deliberative turn.
Agency and representation are viewed as preconditions for democratic action. The dominant understanding of agency and representation is defined in terms of certain capacities and abilities that are considered to constitute the basis of personhood. The article will put into question this understanding and the assumptions that underpin it and argue that it rests on a mistaken conception of human animality – one that reduces the self to an autonomous and disembodied rational mind. The article will also suggest that (...) it is problematic because it marginalizes more than human forms of life – as well as those of us who are differently human – and excludes their points of view from the political processes of world making. In contrast, I will put forward an understanding of agency and representation that is attuned to the relational dimensions of all life on earth. By paying attention to the semiotic propensities that all forms of life share – which entails considering nonlinguistic forms of communication – this article responds to the need for more radically democratic ways of listening, giving voice, and caring for the earth’s beings and the relations that form the conditions for life to flourish. (shrink)
The questions of this article are: what can we learn from deliberative democratictheory, its critics, the practices of local deliberative communities, the needs of potential participants, and the experiences of virtual communities that would be useful in designing a technology-facilitated institution for global civil society that is deliberative and democratic in its values? And what is the appropriate design of such an online institution so that it will be attentive to the undemocratic forces enabled by power (...) inequalities that can emerge in discursive communities? I answer these questions with an institutional innovation that meets a need of global civil society and that is responsive to critics of deliberative democratictheory and attentive to the particular agents engaged in women's human rights activism. (shrink)
In dominant discourses, migrants are mostly perceived as either victims or villains but rarely as political subjects and democratic constituents. Challenging this view, the aim of the article is to rethink democracy with respect to migration struggles. I argue that movements of migration are not only consistent with democracy but also provide a decisive impetus for actualizing democratic principles in the context of debates about the crisis of representation and post-democracy. Drawing on the work of Jacques Rancière, Étienne (...) Balibar and Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, I develop a theory of radical democracy as practice, which, starting from the proposed notion of ‘democratic difference’, goes beyond the fixation on democratic regimes and focuses on contentious practices of enacting democratic principles. I articulate these theoretical concepts by analysing how refugees in Germany have managed to break out of a marginalized position and have challenged their denial of rights through a protest march. (shrink)
In response to the dozen essays published here, which relate my 1964 paper on ?The Nature of Belief Systems in the Mass Publics? to normative requirements of democratictheory, I note, inter alia, a major misinterpretation of my old argument, as well as needed revisions of that argument in the light of intervening data. Then I address the degree to which there may be some long?term secular change in the parameters that I originally laid out. In the final (...) section, I provide a case study of public understanding of factual trends in federal tax policy in recent decades which seems commendably veridical on average. The preferences of the public thereon add up to a remarkably clear popular mandate. But this mandate seems to disappear rather magically in the voting booth, probably due to a combination of limited contextual information on the public side, and considerable skill on the elite side in manipulating apparent political realities. (shrink)
Democracy has become disentangled from our ordinary lives. Mere cooperation or ethical consumption now often stands in for a robust concept of solidarity that structures the entirety of sociality and forms the basis of democratic culture. How did democracy become something that is done only at ballot boxes and what role can solidarity play in reviving it? In Solidarity in Conflict, Rochelle DuFord presents a theory of solidarity fit for developing democratic life and a complementary theory (...) of democracy that emerges from a society typified by solidarity. DuFord argues that solidarity is best understood as a set of relations, one agonistic and one antagonistic: the solidarity groups' internal organization and its interactions with the broader world. Such a picture of solidarity develops through careful consideration of the conflicts endemic to social relations and solidarity organizations. Examining men's rights groups, labor organizing's role in recognitional protections for LGBTQ members of society, and the debate over trans inclusion in feminist praxis, DuFord explores how conflict, in these contexts, becomes the locus of solidarity's democratic functions and thereby critiques democratic theorizing for having become either overly idealized or overly focused on building and maintaining stability. Working in the tradition of the Frankfurt School, DuFord makes a provocative case that the conflict generated by solidarity organizations can address a variety of forms of domination, oppression, and exploitation while building a democratic society. (shrink)
"Populism" has long been a dirty word. To some, it suggests the tyranny of the mob, to others, a xenophobic nativism. It is sometimes considered conducive to (if not simply identical to) fascism. In this timely book, Walter Horn acquits populism by "distilling" it, in order to finally give the people the power to govern themselves, free from constraints imposed either by conservatives (or libertarians) on the right or liberals (or Marxists) on the left. Beginning with explanations of what it (...) means to vote and what makes one society better off than another, Horn progresses to issues involving what makes for fair aggregation and appropriate, deliberative representation. From suggesting solutions to contemporary problems like gerrymandering, immigration control, and campaign finance, to offering answers to age-old questions like why dissenters should want to obey the majority and who should have the right to vote in various elections, Horn, using his new theory of "CHOICE Voluntarism," provides solutions to some of the most perplexing problems in the history of democratictheory. -/- The Introduction and first chapter can now be read free at Amazon. (shrink)
Abstract. The Western conception of the individual as a rational, self-directing agent is a mythology that organizes and distorts religion, science, economics, and politics. It produces an abstracted and atomized form of engagement that is fatal to collective self-governance. And it turns democracy into the enemy of equality. Considering the meaning of democracy and autonomy from a perspective that takes the subject as truly social would refocus our attention on the constitutive contexts and practices necessary for the production of citizens (...) who are capable of meaningful self-governance. Under modern conditions, it is in the development of sexual autonomy that we learn how to take initiative with respect to our well-being and do so in concert with others. Where the view of rational agency as the defining characteristic of humanity yields a deracinated view of autonomy, a more realistic, humanistic view that we are, necessarily, social beings yields a view of freedom and self-governance as social phenomena that require empathy, negotiation, compromise, cooperation, and mutual recognition and respect. (shrink)
Two distinct approaches to the incorporation of animal interests within democratictheory are identified. The first, anthropocentric, account suggests that animal interests ought to be considered within a democratic polity if and when enough humans desire this to be the case. Within this anthropocentric account, the relationship between democracy and the protection of animal interests remains contingent. An alternative account holds that the interests of animals ought to be taken into account because they have a democratic (...) right that their interests are considered. This alternative account is defended in this article by utilising democratictheory and, in particular, the all-affected principle. The interests of animals are affected by collective decisions and, therefore, they, or – more specifically – their representatives, have a democratic right to have some say in the making of those decisions. This approach is favourably contrasted with an alternative, citizenship, account which relies on contested, capacity-oriented, claims current within the field of animal ethics. (shrink)
Global DemocraticTheory is the first comprehensive introduction to the changing contours of democracy in today’s hyperconnected world. Accessibly written for readers new to the topic, it considers the impact of globalization and global forms of governance and activism on democratic politics and examines how democratictheory has responded to address these challenges, including calls for new forms of democracy to be developed beyond the nation-state and for greater public participation and accountability in existing global (...) institutions. Divided into two parts, the book shows how globalization provides both new obstacles and new opportunities for democracy. Part I explores the shifts underway at the national and international levels that are challenging democracy within nation-states around the world. In response, new proposals for global and transnational democracy have emerged. Part II critically analyses five main approaches of ‘global democratictheory’ Ð liberal internationalism, cosmopolitan democracy, deliberative democracy, social democracy and radical democracy, focusing on their specific interpretation of the problems facing democracy, their normative claims, and the feasibility of their proposed pathways of democratization. The book’s extensive account of the problems and possibilities facing democracy today will be essential reading for students and scholars of politics, political theory and political philosophy. (shrink)
This book is an important contribution to the theory of democracy and socialism. The underlying question it poses is: how, if at all, can one have both socialism and democracy? In posing an answer to this question, Professor Cunningham addresses the following topics: the definition of democracy and whether socialism is necessary to its progress: the socialist retrieval of liberal democracy associated with the work of C. B. Macpherson: the political consciousness that Gramsci placed at the center of socialist (...) politics: and attempts by those in women's and national liberation movements to go beyond 'class reductionism' in socialist theory and practice. Unlike other works on this topic, the book devotes much attention to defining key terms and drawing politically relevant conclusions. It will therefore be fully accessible to undergraduates as well as graduates and teachers of philosophy and political science. (shrink)
James Bohman’s account of what might be involved in thinking about ‘democracy across borders,’ and specifically of what might be involved in thinking about a potential shift from dêmos to dêmoi, compels both affirmation and resistance. His account is both elegant and sharply focussed: positive attributes that nevertheless affirm a very particular understanding of elegance, and a precise focus that manages to evade many considerations that might be considered important by people seeking to think about democracies and their futures in (...) many different situations. (Published: 5 February 2010) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010, pp. 21-36. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v3i1.4851. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that contemporary democratictheory gives insufficient attention to the important contributions dissenting citizens make to democratic life. Guided by the dissident practices of activist women, I develop a more expansive conception of citizenship that recognizes dissent and an ethic of political courage as vital elements of democratic participation. I illustrate how this perspective on citizenship recasts and reclaims women's courageous dissidence by reconsidering the well-known story of Rosa Parks.
Universalism and particularism have become poles of modern social thought and lead to distinct definitions of democracy, citizenship, and social policy. Challenging Habermas and the Habermasians, this article argues that democracy can never be identified with domination. Meanwhile, contesting Chatterjee and Foucault, the author reaffirms citizenship and law in their various forms in relation to both bounded and unbounded serialities as the basis for democracy, beyond and despite governmentality. Latin America, and especially Brazil, with processes that check state domination and (...) have implied democratizing changes, provide the empirical focus for the discussion, albeit mediated by other countries, particularly India. (shrink)
The United States leads the world in incarceration, and the United Kingdom is persistently one of the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment. Yet despite its increasing visibility as a social issue, mass incarceration - and its inconsistency with core democratic ideals - rarely surfaces in contemporary Anglo-American political theory. DemocraticTheory and Mass Incarceration seeks to overcome this puzzling disconnect by deepening the dialogue between democratictheory and punishment policy. (...) This collection of original essays initiates a multi-disciplinary discussion among philosophers, political theorists, and criminologists regarding ways in which contemporary democratictheory might begin to think beyond mass incarceration. Rather than viewing punishment as a natural reaction to crime and imprisonment as a sensible outgrowth of this reaction, the volume argues that crime and punishment are institutions that reveal unmet demands for public oversight and democratic influence. Chapters explore theoretical paths towards de-carceration and alternatives to prison, suggest ways in which democratictheory can strengthen recent reform movements, and offer creative alternatives to mass incarceration. DemocraticTheory and Mass Incarceration offers guideposts for critical thinking about incarceration, examining ways to rebuild crime control institutions and create a healthier, more just society. (shrink)
This paper addresses the problem of the strategies and theories of democratic participation in Nigeria that breed institutional marginality and bad governance due to shortfalls in pursuing the values of justice and empowerment as core democratic characteristics. The same democratic principles such as voting, parliament, constitution, judiciary, that are suggestive of gains such as responsible use, and peaceful transfer of power may not have translated fully into sociopolitical empowerment for responsibility and representation in evolving democratic practice (...) in Nigeria due to problems of agency and political ideology. Democratic theorizing and participation in Nigeria has defied orthodox presuppositions seen in the disrespect for basic rights and the disregard for the rule of law in democracy that allow for fair play within and among the elites and political grassroots. Thus this study investigates the Nigerian predicament as a model or case study, raising questions about the reasons for the systematic disempowerment of groups. (shrink)
A feature of American political consciousness is a desire to propagate democracy throughout the world. In our enthusiasm to share what we enjoy, Barzun notes that little attention is paid to exactly what we are trying to distribute.
I T I S S T A R T L I N G T O realize that the concept of economic exploitation, which has been the focus of intense philosophical debate for what seems like decades now, was barely touched on in John Rawls's 1971 masterwork, A Theory o f Justice, the book that ushered in the present era of Anglo - American social and political philosophy. The subject was broached just once by Rawls, and only to be dismissed (...) as being of such secondary importance as to be "out of place here."1 The concept, however, had begun to attract the attention of a generation of students and young faculty who were rediscovering Marx, to the point that it could not much longer be ignored, not even in Harvard Yard. Robert Nozick, in his famous juniorcolleague, neoconservative rebuttal to the liberal Rawls, devoted a full nine pages to attacking "Marxian exploitation," concluding that "Marxian exploitation is the exploitation of people's lack of understanding of economics.". (shrink)
I respond to Fishkin?s critique of my book The State of DemocraticTheory. I reiterate my defense of a competitive model of democracy geared to reducing domination, rather than Fishkin?s deliberative model that deploys structured discussion to enlighten mass preferences. In light of the literatures on framing effects and the value of mutually independent judgments, I question whether the procedures Fishkin recommends would produce outcomes that are better informed rather than differently informed. Recognizing that deliberation might sometimes be (...) helpful in reducing domination, I note that sometimes it will not, and I fault Fishkin for his indiscriminate embrace of exceedingly costly deliberative mechanisms that promise dubious benefits? notably his and Bruce Ackerman?s?Deliberation Day? (shrink)
Intergenerational justice and democratictheory -- A narrative turn -- Archê, finitude, and community in Aristophanes -- Mothers, powerlessness, and intergenerational agency in Euripides -- Freedom, responsibility, and transgenerational orientation in Aeschylus -- Art, space, and possibilities for intergenerational justice in our time.
People tend to be biased and irrational about politics. Should this constrain what our normative theories of democracy can require? David Estlund argues that the answer is ‘no’. He contends that even if such facts show that the requirements of a normative theory are very unlikely to be met, this need not imply that the theory is unduly unrealistic. I argue that the application of Estlund’s argument to political irrationality depends on a false presupposition: mainly, that being rational (...) about politics is something people could easily do if they tried. Since the empirical evidence shows that being rational about politics is actually quite difficult, Estlund’s argument comes up short. Moreover, I argue that the argument cannot plausibly be extended to insulate normative theories of democracy from facts about political irrationality because of the need for constraints of realism to explain the crucial role that appeals to disagreement play within such theories. (shrink)
This essay considers the role of the ‘all affected interests’ principle in democratictheory, focusing on debates concerning its form, substance and relationship to the resolution of the democratic boundary problem. It begins by defending an ‘all actually affected’ formulation of the principle against Goodin’s ‘incoherence argument’ critique of this formulation, before addressing issues concerning how to specify the choice set appropriate to the principle. Turning to the substance of the principle, the argument rejects Nozick’s dismissal of (...) its intuitive appeal and considers the two arguments advanced in favour of the principle as a criterion of democratic inclusion: the interlinked interests argument and the tracking power argument. It is shown that neither of these arguments can substantiate a view of the principle as a criterion of democratic inclusion, although both ground a constitutional understanding of the principle as specifying the scope of a duty of justification. It is then proposed that the principle can play an important role in a two-stage resolution of the democratic boundary problem in which it addresses the question of who is entitled to inclusion in the ‘pre-political’ demos that determines whether to constitute a polity. The second stage of this resolution requires an answer to the question of who should constitute the ‘political demos’, that is, the demos of a constituted polity and it is argued that a version of the ‘‘all subjected persons’’ principle can appropriately play this role.Keywords: all affected interests; all subjected persons; democracy; boundary problem; demos problem. (shrink)